New Open Data & Records Hub, Washington Street emergency repairs, Trick-or-treat hours, and More

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Bill Durkin, District 8

October 19, 2018

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Open Data & Records Hub Makes It Easier to Search, Access Data

Open Data and Records Hub

Lake County has launched a new Open Data and Records Hub that makes Lake County government data easily accessible – and searchable — to a broad audience, including residents and taxpayers, enhancing transparency and accountability. Additionally, government employees can now access other departments’ data to help enhance services and drive efficiency.  The Open Data and Records Hub centralizes a wide range of data in one place from property taxes and health and recreation to transportation and government contracts and agreements. This new tool allows users to search and discover PDF maps, web mapping applications and other datasets all free of charge. The existing datasets on the Hub will consistently be updated, and Lake County is exploring adding new information, including financial data.     

Visit the Open Data & Records Hub 


Proposed 2019 Budget Keeps $3.4 Million in Taxpayers’ Pockets

The proposed Lake County 2019 budget is balanced and the operating budget reflects a slight decrease from last year. The Lake County Board will hold budget hearings on the proposed budget later this month and will vote on it at its November meeting. In an effort to provide some relief to taxpayers, the County Board directed that the budget be developed keeping the County’s property tax levy flat (or not taking the allowable levy growth based on the Consumer Price Index). This keeps $3.4 million in taxpayers’ pockets.  The only increase in property tax revenue will come from growth on new property. (As a reminder, Lake County’s portion of your property tax bill is about 7%). The proposed FY19 operating budget — which funds the County’s day-to-day operations — is $3.3 million less than last year (or 1%) as a result of efficiencies from shared services with other governments, technology enhancements, and operational improvements. The budget can be viewed at lakecountyil.gov/budget.


Washington Street Emergency Repairs

Waukegan sinkhole

On Sept. 21, the City of Waukegan noticed that a sinkhole had developed on one of its major thoroughfares Washington Street, about one block west of downtown Waukegan between West Street and Park Avenue. Through inspections by City engineers and contractors, it was determined that the sinkhole had resulted as a consequence of the collapse of a 114-year-old culvert about 45 feet below the Washington Street roadway. The culvert collapse has required closure of Washington Street, west of the downtown. 

The City and contractors have temporarily capped the threatened water lines, installed pumps to bypass the storm water, temporarily secured the sewage pipes, and worked to secure utility lines. The City is now in the process of excavating thousands of truckloads of dirt, procuring new reinforced concrete pipe to replace the old culvert, and removing the materials that have entered the Waukegan River. Through additional inspections of the Waukegan River, these also revealed an additional storm water collapse continuing another block south under Water Street.

The City called an emergency meeting on Sept. 26 due to the growing cost of the project, currently estimated at $3 million. Due to the concerns regarding the structural integrity of Washington, the necessity of fixing the major storm water passage, and the additional complication related to the impending closure of asphalt plants from cold weather, the City is conscious of the extreme cost of this project and is anxious for access to any emergency resources that may be available to assist with this project.  

For more information regarding this project, contact the City of Waukegan Public Works Department at 847-360-0944.


ELECTION: Voter Registration, Early Voting Sites, and More

vote

Voter Registration
It’s not too late to register to vote in the upcoming election! Grace voter registration is available during early voting from Oct. 22 to Nov. 5, and on Election Day.

Vote by Mail
Skip the lines on Election Day by voting by mail! Registered voters must submit a required application form by noon on Nov. 1 vote by mail.  Returning voted by mail ballots must be postmarked by midnight on Nov. 6.

Early Voting
Early voting begins Oct. 22 at 16 sites throughout Lake County. View the early voting locations.

 

For more information about the upcoming election, visit the Lake County Clerk’s November 2018 Election  web page


Trick or Treat, Lake County!

trick or treat

It’s that time of year when youngsters in great costumes go door-to-door in the neighborhood looking for some nourishing sugary treats! View trick-or-treating hours in Lake County, and create a great experience for your little goblins.


Board Considers Measures to Enhance Procurement Policies

In an effort to strengthen its already strong policies as it relates to purchasing goods and services, the Lake County Board is considering changes that will require vendors submitting proposals for more than $30,000 to disclose familial relationships with County employees. The Board already approved internal policy changes that require employees to annually review ethics and purchasing rules, and attest that they understand and agree to adhere to them.

The Board recently discussed a proposal that would require vendors submitting proposals to submit a “Vendor Disclosure Statement” disclosing the names of each owner/principal/officer of the company, along with those individuals’ immediate family members who are employed by Lake County. Purchasing officers will compare the statement with the staff members serving on the evaluation panel and verify that those employees are eligible to serve. The Board wants to discuss further how to broaden this and make this information more transparent. The Finance Committee will take up the item next month.  

Mike Rummel, Chair of the Board’s Finance and Administration Committee, said, “We already have one of the strongest Ethics Ordinances that govern our process and protect against influence or impropriety. Our ethics standards set us apart from other local governments and they view us as a model. Still, there are examples of some other local governments doing additional disclosures, so we are considering adding these measures to enhance what we already do.”

The Lake County Board adopted Ethics Ordinance clearly outlines the ethical and legal standards that county officers and employees must follow while conducting county business. It also puts a process in place to reviewing complaints and gives the county administrator authority to administer disciplinary action up to and including termination. 


Forest Preserves Logo

Forest Preserve News

2018 Chili Golf Scramble

Play in the Chili Golf Scramble at Countryside
Join this low-pressure 18-hole tournament at Countryside Golf Club in Mundelein, on Sunday, November 4 at 10 a.m. Compete for prizes, then enjoy chili and beverages. Learn more »



LCFPD accessibility

Help Us Improve Accessibility
We are currently evaluating accessibility within our forest preserves, programs, facilities and communications to ensure people with disabilities can use and enjoy them. We invite you to attend one of three public meetings on October 30, November 1, and November 3, to share ideas and provide feedback to help us improve accessibility within our agency. Learn more »

 

Dunn Museum video

Tour the Dunn Museum
Watch this video to learn more about the Dunn Museum in Libertyville, from Forest Preserve President Ann Maine and Commissioner Carol Calabresa.


New 2-1-1 Service to Connect Residents with Help They Need

2-1-1

A free, confidential county-wide referral service is one step closer to reality thanks to support from the Lake County Board. Residents will simply be able to dial 2-1-1 for personal assistance (much like they dial 9-1-1 for emergency assistance).  The United Way of Lake County is developing the new 2-1-1 service that will connect residents to various resources from shelter and housing options, supplemental food programs, services for veterans, health care, and many other critical services to help improve and save lives. The Board allocated $80,000 in video gaming revenue (which is generated from video gaming in the unincorporated areas) to the United Way of Lake County. The agency expects 2-1-1 to launch in spring of 2019. Watch this video as Lake County Board Member Steve Carlson explains what this service will do for residents in Lake County.


Get Rid of Unwanted Prescription Drugs Oct. 27

Drug take back day 2018

Help prevent substance abuse and theft by safely disposing your home of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The Lake County Sheriff's Office is partnering with the DEA for Prescription Drug Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 27. The service is free and anonymous. View the drop-off locations.

Remember, the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies also provide drug disposal boxes at locations across Lake County where your unwanted and expired prescription drugs can be disposed safely all year round. Find a drug disposal box near you


Jail Visitor Entrance Relocated

The public entrance of the Lake County Jail has moved from 20 South County Street, to the lobby of the Community Based Corrections Center (CBCC) at 15 South Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, Waukegan. The relocation is due to the ongoing renovations at the Lake County Jail.

Inmates being released from custody will be released at the CBCC Lobby. Any visitors coming to the Lake County Jail should also utilize the CBCC Lobby.



Public Works Sustainability Improvements

Public Works sustainability improvements

With more than 200 lakes and rivers in the county, it’s important to keep our water safe! Lake County Public Works has been working hard to increase their sustainability efforts to their water operations, from taking phosphorous and nutrients out of wastewater that can be harmful to aquatic life, to performing energy audits performed in coordination with the Illinois EPA. Watch Video


Celebrate Lake County Manufacturing

Lake County Manufacturing

Lake County Workforce Development is joining the College of Lake County to celebrate Manufacturing Month in Lake County, and you’re invited to join a variety of events. Learn about careers in engineering and computer science, meet representatives from manufacturers here in Lake County who will discuss jobs in these growing industries, and meet a panel of employers who will discuss the manufacturing field.  View the schedule.

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